• Anna Vigsø Pedersen
  • Melissa Anni Ellermann
4. semester, Culture, Communication & Globalisation, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Denmark prides itself on being a country that has true gender equality and is consistently ranked at the top of different gender equality measurements. However, the prevalence of issues having to do with gender equality, including high rates of sexualised violence in Denmark, suggests that gender equality has yet to be achieved. This makes the negative attitudes towards feminism, which are so enmeshed in Denmark that only one in six call themselves feminists, even more disconcerting.
Social media is a potentially powerful tool for communicating, as it offers a space for like-minded people to come together and exchange ideas but can also be used as a tool to silence people and spread hate. Language and discourse are the main channels through which we communicate, and thus, we need to acknowledge the impact of our language, especially in reproducing systems of power and domination. When misogyny and antifeminism is interwoven in language and communication, patriarchal structures are maintained through the reproduction of these discourses.
The manosphere is an example of social media platforms being used to silence people and spread hate, as it is associated with discourses of misogyny and antifeminism. However, this is not contained to the manosphere, as it is well-established in academia that misogyny and antifeminism flourish on social media both in- and outside the manosphere. The question remains how these discourses and their meaning traverse dimensions. Considering these discourses in- and outside of the manosphere allows for an examination of the nature of misogyny and antifeminism on platforms where people have their daily course of life, as well as the potential implications of such discourses on gender equality.
Therefore, with this thesis, we wish to explore how misogyny and antifeminism are discursively constructed in the online public debate in a Danish context outside of the manosphere. With this, we wish to contribute to the existing academic literature by identifying similarities and differences within and outside of the manosphere. To do this, we have qualitatively mapped constructions of online misogyny and antifeminism in a comment track belonging to a news post from Politiken on Facebook, with the intention of providing an in-depth description of these. Within the comment track, 60 comments were identified as misogynist and antifeminist. These comments were subjected to an ideological discourse analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis.
Our findings suggest that the discursive constructions of misogyny and antifeminism identified represent the perceived victimisation of men at the hands of feminism, feminists and women. These discursive constructions also represent more serious problems than men’s victimisation. The discourses used to speak about women, feminists and feminism represent a form of discursive violence and pose a big threat to the free democratic debate online and to violence against women. The identified discursive constructions reproduce negative attitudes towards feminism and related issues, which makes it less legitimate to speak about these issues. This in turn results in the silencing of women. The comments analysed in this thesis represent one very small fragment of the online democratic debate, yet the connection between the data and the manosphere was outspoken. This suggests that misogyny and antifeminism outside the manosphere might be more closely connected with the manosphere than hitherto expected. It also suggests that these discourses have reached a particular point of maturing, as the identified constructions of feminism and gender equality were well-developed and articulated.
By producing and reproducing certain discourses, power relationships are enforced, and where some are controlled and dismissed. The potential power implications of our language need to be acknowledged, and the implications of the misogynist, antifeminist and sexist discourses that are currently allowed to flourish on social media must be taken seriously. The discourses we have identified are part of a socially accepted practice in which power relations are maintained through discursive violence that is detrimental to women and their well-being. Facebook and Politiken have made the active choice of letting these misogynist and antifeminist discourses remain. These discourses need to be perceived as unacceptable. We need to take a stand against them in the quest for a better and more equal future for everyone, both online and offline.

Keywords: Manosphere, outside the manosphere, misogyny, antifeminism, qualitative case study, ideological discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, Facebook, Politiken, feminism, gender equality, power, social media
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2021
Antal sider130
ID: 413330560